No Country for Old Men

My favorite American author is Cormac McCarthy.  I’ve read everything he’s published (eight previous novels) at least twice.  In July of 2006, I read No Country for Old Men. I finally was able to see the movie. I think it showed here in the Monroe area for only about a week.

Both the novel and the movie impressed me. If there’s a story that will cause you to hate, to react negatively against the world and people of illegal drugs, this is it.  McCarthy reveals there’s not much glamor in the drug world, and he captures the greed, pain, suffering, violence (with its carnage and mayhem), and complexity drugs create.

As I contemplated going to the movie version of the novel here, I read some local movie reviews, most of which were not favorable. However, I found the movie to be true in spirit and tone to the novel.  The cast was well-chosen and the film well-made. I had no real criticisms. I wish the others I read, who had trashed the film because they didn’t “get” certain parts of the film, had read the novel first. Then I’m confident they would have understood and “felt” the power of the movie.  Anyway, there’s an old saying I heard somewhere: “Never judge a book by its movie.”  I own the book, and I intend to own the movie someday.  I felt the same way about McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses.

The inside jacket of my hardback edition has a good description of the story. The novel is “A harrowing story of a war that society is waging on itself, and an enduring meditation on the ties of love and blood and duty that inform lives and shape destinies.”  The characters search for the answer to this question: “[H]ow does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?”

It is indeed a movie of our age.